There had to be one good romantic comedy this year, and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" proved to be it. The quiet love story about a fishing expert (played by Ewan McGregor) who helps a sheik's personal assistant (played by Emily Blunt) bring the sport of salmon fishing to the Yemen received a surprise Golden Globe nomination this morning for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.
At first, we were shocked to see this indie-feeling romantic comedy without all the trappings of a big Hollywood production be the film to rise above the rest, but with closer look, we came up with seven reasons why Salmon Fishing in the Yemen should not be overlooked.
1. English people are more pent up when it comes to falling in love and that makes for an inherently loveable movie when the two leads finally crack and have that first kiss. Examples: "Notting Hill," "Love Actually," " Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Bridget Jones." Need we say more?
2. Emily Blunt is the new English Meg Ryan. Although we loved her in "Looper," her truly best moments on screen are when sharing a glance with an adorable mate with whom she may or may not fall in love. Examples: Matt Damon in "Adjustment Bureau" and Jason Segel in "The Five-Year Engagement." Take on another romance, Emily, wooing is your bag.
3. The title "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is so intriguing, it brings with it a bit of mystery and a genuine kind of depth — both of which make this film all the more appealing.
4. Audiences are tired of seeing romantic comedies with a traditional plot: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. Instead, in this film, girl is adorable and boy is completely clueless as to how to talk to girl. And boy is also married. Complications arise, making this romance all the more enticing.
5. The exotic locations and sweeping landscapes of a film that takes place in England and the Yemen harkens back to the day when Hollywood would typically send its romantic leads to abroad to fall in love, as in Casablanca and "Roman Holiday." We like going places, and we like seeing new things, especially when it comes to the great mystery of life, amour.
6. Kristin Scott Thomas as the prime minster's press secretary is the take away role in this film. She's a working mom, she's funny and she doesn't give a crap about anyone. Finally, this character brings some comic relief that's not the usual slacker sidekick who can't get out of bed. Hooray!
7. Ewan McGregor is adorable, and in a sense, this movie gives audiences a glimpse of what it would be like to fall in love with Obi-Wan Kenobi. The only way it could get better than that is if Liam Nesson played Emily Blunt's father. Or maybe the sheik. A girl can dream.
What was the movie's competition in the romantic comedy categories? Not much for 2012.
See the trailer for 'Salmon Fishing in Yemen':